STATI PARTIES CHALLENGE BELGIAN COURT RULING IN DEFENSE OF TRISTANGATE AWARD
The Stati Parties have filed an appeal against the November 16, 2021 Brussels Court of Appeal decision which upheld a challenge, brought by Kazakhstan, against the enforcement of the $544 million Energy Charter Treaty Award. The cassation appeal is based on the grounds that the Belgian Court of Appeals exceeded its legal authority and failed to give proper recognition under Belgian law to the binding effect of the Swedish court judgments.
A separate challenge by Kazakhstan in Italy, on the same grounds, was rejected on February 3, 2022. The Supreme Court of Italy confirmed that “it appears ex actis that both the Stockholm Court of Appeal and the Swedish Supreme Court were aware of the appeal against the Award for reasons that substantially resemble those that have now been brought before the Court.”
The Tristangate Award is final, binding and non-appealable. The Italian Supreme Court denied Kazakhstan’s challenge to Award recognition proceedings in Italy and confirmed the possibility of attaching additional Kazakh assets.
A US court has previously agreed with the Italian position that the seat of the judgement – Sweden’s courts – have already ruled on this question.
A group of bondholders, including Argentem Creek, is due to receive approximately 70% of the Award proceeds under a sharing agreement with the Award creditors.
Daniel Chapman, CEO of Argentem Creek Partners, commented:
“Certain individuals in Kazakhstan have long sought to obstruct payment of the Award and avoid the country’s international obligations. Their disregard for the rule of law should make foreign investors wary. We hope President Tokayev will take a different and more constructive view and resolve this dispute once and for all.”
Since December 2013, Kazakhstan has refused to pay the Award to Tristan Oil’s owners in compensation for the harassment campaign and illegal expropriation of assets.
The Award has since been recognized in multiple jurisdictions, including the U.S., Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy, France, and the Netherlands.
Kazakhstan’s refusal to honor the Tristangate Award has led to the freezing of Kazakhstani state assets worth a total of US$5.8 billion worldwide.
For a history of the Tristangate dispute and an archive of all related court documents and news articles, please visit www.tristangate.com.